Take your seats for Matinee Gin

Lavanya Jayashankar and Anjali Shahi bring their craft Gin with India at its heart to Goa

As the crisp sunlight shines on a lazy weekend, you can see people gushing through the doors of the nearby theatre to catch the matinee show. There is fascinating charm in a movie binge kicking off a vibrant weekend. Matinee is nostalgically relevant to the India that loves its dazzling cinema culture. It is reminiscent of a fun and glamorous time when you can feel the bright lights and the splash of colours. The word also brings theatrical familiarity to many across the globe. So to Lavanya and Anjali it seemed apt and curiously quirky to call their brainchild – ‘Matinee.’ A craft gin with India at its heart, Matinee is the maiden spirit of Speakeasy Spirits.

With the spirits industry picking up pace in India and the Gin revolution taking its space, a homegrown craft gin with unique flavour combinations was the route taken by Lavanya Jayashankar and Anjali Shahi. They are the founders of Speakeasy Spirits that launched its pioneer spirit – Matinee craft gin in late 2021. India’s first and to date, only women founded gin, the story behind Matinee’s production is one of friendship and shared aspirations.

Lavanya Jayashankar

The ladies have been friends since they were 18 and have seen each other strive through the years. So after having spent years in successful individual careers, they decided to join hands to begin their entrepreneurial journey in their homeland – India. It is thus the reason that when they chose the product they wished to work on, they wanted to carry India with them. Matinee is the result of years of experimentation, distillation and quality checks. Diving deep into India’s treasure trove of botanicals was the first step to find their star ingredients. The hunt resulted in four uniquely Indian ingredients – Nagkesar, Goan peppercorn, Kagzi Lime and White Turmeric. One of its kind and first to use these ingredients locally and internationally, Matinee carries India in its spirit, quite literally! Matinee is not just a gin; it’s an experience – a world of colours and celebration. The classic gin botanicals of juniper, orange, cinnamon and cardamom are featured alongside the four unique ingredients.

Matinee is a blend of flavours that will make you taste the hopeful and bright embrace of modern India and transport you to blissful times. The citrus notes and coy piquant flavours of the complex combination fit together like puzzle pieces coming together to make the vibrant personality of Matinee.

The unique botanical inspiration for the gin comes directly from core Indian flavours. Any flavour in India doesn’t hit right until the perfect combination of spices is found. So it was the obvious route to spend countless hours experimenting to find the perfectly Indian spiced flavour combination for Matinee’s craft Gin. Its robust and citrusy nature makes for a splash of freshness with every sip. And because of its complex curation of spices, there is a method to the madness here; the distillation process is designed with careful consideration of the flavour of each botanical and spice used and that is why every bottle, every batch is the exact same – smooth and fresh in every way.

Having consulted with some of the biggest alcohol brands in the world, Lavanya draws from her strategy expertise when it comes to Matinee. The women wanted to build a brand that would be accessible, inclusive and familiar. A brand that respects the essence of India and carries it for the globetrotters; Matinee is an effort in that direction.

With ingredients sourced from local Goan markets and farmers in Bihar; spirit sourced from a local Indian distillery and a bottle on which the label is printed without paper, aiming for positive impact; Matinee is not just Indian in its flavours and name but also in its production process. A homegrown local craft gin made by two women is already an entrepreneurial feat, enough to turn heads, but Anjali and Lavanya took the step to include the vibrancy and brightness of India in its branding. The brand stands out on the shelf by embracing India’s love for colour over global codes of the category that embrace a much more somber palette, as do many of their competitors. Their aim is to inject fun and vibrancy into a category that takes itself too seriously. It celebrates the chemistry that 2 people share when they enjoy a drink together, making the world a more colourful place. It is also a design illustrated by an Indian artist by hand before transferring it to a printable design which is printed directly onto the bottle!

Embodying celebration, charm, glamour and youthful essence, your new favourite Gin welcomes you to the Matinee show!

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